Vladimir Jabotinsky Revisited “Jabotinsky: A Life” by Hillel Halkin…A Review by David Isaac ****

“If I could raise any of the great figures of Zionist history from the dead for an hour’s conversation, I would choose Jabotinsky,” writes Hillel Halkin in his new book Jabotinsky: A Life.

The merit of this gracefully written and thoughtful book is that Halkin makes you understand why. Jabotinsky was easily the most talented, versatile, and farseeing of Zionist leaders. Add to this his gregarious, witty, and engaging personality, and it’s difficult not to like Jabotinsky as much as one admires him. As Jabotinsky’s friend and biographer Shmuel Katz once told this writer, “I simply couldn’t find fault in him, and, believe me, I tried.”

Born in 1880 in Odessa, Vladimir “Ze’ev” Jabotinsky rose to prominence through his gifts as a writer, speaker, and organizer of Jewish self-defense. His status in the Zionist movement leapt forward with the establishment of the Jewish Legion, which fought on the side of the British in Palestine during World War I. This remarkable accomplishment—remarkable in part because he worked for it alone while everyone opposed it—put him in the top tier of Zionist leaders.

In terms of his political outlook, Jabotinsky today would most resemble a conservative, in favor of free markets, an advocate of individual freedom, a believer in religion in the public square (although not a religious man himself), and convinced that a strong military was essential—in this case, essential for the creation and preservation of a Jewish state.

Halkin gives Jabotinsky credit for being right when others were wrong. Jabotinsky warned the Jews to “Get iron,” meaning to build up their military strength, foreseeing that the struggle for Palestine would be decided by an Arab-Jewish war. This seems obvious now. But at the time Labor Zionists saw Arab workers as natural partners in the class struggle. Jabotinsky spoke out against socialism, understanding that a modern economy could not be based on socialist fantasies. Above all, he was prescient in warning eastern European Jews to evacuate Europe before it consumed them. He traveled from town to town exhorting Jews to flee. Unfortunately, few heeded Jabotinsky. He was even vilified, called a “fascist” and an “anti-Semite.”

It was not that Jabotinsky lacked persuasive skills. Halkin provides an excellent section on Jabotinsky’s legendary oratory, quoting V.D. Nabokov, the father of the famous novelist, who called Jabotinsky “the finest orator in all of Russia.” Yet, Halkin notes, there were no theatrics in his speaking. His style was calm, his body language almost stiff. To unlock Jabotinsky’s secret, he quotes distinguished writer Arthur Koestler, writing of his impression after hearing Jabotinsky: “It was an extraordinary event. Since then, I’ve had the opportunity to listen to many political speakers. None of them had [Jabotinsky’s] ability to mesmerize an audience for three hours without once resorting to the orator’s bag of tricks. There was nothing trite in anything he said. … Its power lay in its transparent clarity and the beauty of its logic.”


Octava Pink, a groundbreaking achievement in cancer detection, follows eight years of research at EventusDx in Jerusalem.

After eight years of painstaking research, Israeli life-sciences company Eventus Diagnostics (EventusDx) has produced a blood test for the early detection of breast cancer.

The Octava Pink test is now available in Israel and Italy, and is undergoing clinical trials to receive US Food and Drug Administration approval.

This is the first blood test ever that can reveal cancer, not merely markers that might indicate cancer or something else. Its innovation also lies in its examination of antibodies in the blood to pinpoint this specific cancer.

Molecular biologist Galit Yahalom — who heads the research team at the EventusDx offices and lab, located in Moshav Ora outside of Jerusalem – explains the breakthrough to ISRAEL21c.

“For the last decade, we have known that there is a connection between cancer and the immune system,” says Yahalom, a 43-year-old mother of two from Modi’in who has been working on this project since its inception.

“We know that it recognizes cancer as an external enemy that must be destroyed. It is possible that each of us has had instances of cancer we were unaware of, because our immune systems killed it when it was still very small. For whatever reason, the immune system of people with cancer is not functioning properly.”


My new book, Faithless Execution, is principally about presidential lawlessness. In addressing that topic, I make the point that it is not lawless for a president to refuse to execute a law as to which he has a good faith constitutional objection.

The Framers, after all, were not just worried about executive overreach; they were at least equally concerned about what Hamilton referred to as “The propensity of the legislative department to intrude upon the rights, and to absorb the powers, of the other departments.” This is relevant to the ongoing controversy about whether, in carrying out his unconscionable swap of five senior Taliban and Haqqani network terrorists, the president acted lawlessly.

A congressional statute—the National Defense Authorization Act—presumes to impose a requirement of 30-days’ notice to lawmakers before the president may transfer enemy combatant detainees out of Guantanamo Bay. There is no question that President Obama willfully ignored this statute—the administration admits as much. But was he obliged to comply with it?

As I’ve been contending, there is a very colorable argument—I would say, a convincing argument—that the statute is unconstitutional. The commander-in-chief in wartime has near-plenary power over the disposition of enemy combatants, and supremacy in the conduct of foreign affairs. Congress may properly use its power of the purse to deny the president funds to transfer prisoners—particularly to transfer them into the United States. But it may not act as super-executive by micromanaging how the president carries out his prerogatives. We may find the president’s decisions in this regard to be reprehensible—I certainly do. But that does not make them unconstitutional … what is unconstitutional is a statute that purports to trim the president’s constitutional powers.

Is that the end of the matter? Not by a long shot. As I’ve also contended, the president’s failure to comply with a dubious statute is a mere footnote to his truly egregious offense: replenishing enemy forces at a time when the enemy is still conducting offensive terrorist operations against our armed forces. It would be difficult to fathom a more outrageous dereliction of duty by the commander-in-chief.

The Taliban Swap and “High Crimes and Misdemeanors” By Andrew C. McCarthy

The Wall Street Journal had a fine editorial Monday on President Obama’s reckless decision to negotiate with the Taliban and release from Guantanamo Bay five of its most senior, most capable, most implacably anti-American jihadists for an American army sergeant who, according to accounts from his fellow soldiers, went AWOL in 2009. I addressed the swap in a Corner post over the weekend and in a column yesterday.

Faithless Execution, my book on presidential lawlessness and the Constitution’s ultimate response to it, impeachment, has just been released. I’ve thus been repeatedly asked about the president’s violation of a federal statute in carrying out the exchange and whether this rises to the level of a “high crime and misdemeanor,” the constitutional standard for impeachable offenses that is prominently discussed in my book. This line of inquiry misses the point. There surely is an impeachable offense in this irresponsible deal, but it involves the commander-in-chief’s dereliction of duty, not his failure to comply with dubious statutory terms.

The National Defense Authorization Act states that the president must give Congress 30 days’ notice before transferring war prisoners out of Gitmo, along with an explanation of steps taken to mitigate any potential threat the release poses to the United States. The administration concedes that the president did not comply with this law in releasing the Taliban commanders. The Journal’s editors pooh-pooh the allegation of some Republican lawmakers that this makes the exchange illegal; they argue, to the contrary, that the law is an “unconstitutional” constraint on the president’s “wartime decision-making.” The editors have a point, though one that is undercut by the president himself.

Article II of the Constitution gives the president significant unilateral authority over the conduct of foreign affairs. As commander-in-chief, moreover, the president has traditionally had near plenary authority over the capture and disposition of enemy combatants in wartime. Congress has salient constitutional powers, too. As the Journal points out, Congress could properly have used “its comparably strong power of the purse” to deny the president funding for objectionable prisoner transfers. Instead, with the 30-day notice prescription, it purported to legislate direct limitations on the president’s prerogatives. The president’s commander-in-chief prerogatives may be frustrated by Congress’s exercise of its competing spending power, but Congress may not legislate away the president’s Article II powers—i.e., the Constitution may not be amended by a mere statute. The Journal is right on that score.

The problem in this instance, however, is two-fold. First, there is the now-familiar hypocrisy point. Throughout the Bush administration, when the president relied on his constitutional authority to override congressional restrictions on his wartime surveillance authority and control over enemy combatants, the Left, including then-Senator Obama and many of the lawyers now working in his administration, screamed bloody murder. Some even suggested that he should be impeached for violating the FISA statute. President Obama, of course, is now doing the same thing he and his allies previously condemned. As I contend in Faithless Execution, he is doing it far more sweepingly and systematically than Bush, whose statutory violations occurred in the context of his incontestable war powers and were strongly supported by judicial precedents.


Is European Jew-hatred spreading to America?
The ugly events in Europe over the past two weeks — themurders at the Jewish Museum in Brussels by a French jihadist and alumnus of the Syrian carnage, and the assaulton several French Jews in Paris — have served to confirm what is increasingly obvious: Europe is not a place where Jews are safe or welcome, and it is becomingly increasingly problematic to live visibly as Jews in various countries on the continent.

I am just back from several weeks in Europe. A family member to whom I spoke, who travels regularly to many countries in Europe, admitted sadly that anti-Semitic discourse has become acceptable again all over the continent. For several decades, it was OK to be hostile to Israel, but ill treatment or speaking badly of Jews was verboten. Now, with the multicultural imperative in full swing, and millions of recently arrived Muslims in Europe, the climate for Jews has worsened. But it is not only the recent arrivals who are open about their hatred of Jews.

Public figures in Great Britain and France, ambassadors and legislators among them, have scathingly denounced Jews. Countries are lining up to ban kosher slaughter and circumcision. Denmark, one of the few European countries whose record during the Holocaust is worth remembering for good deeds, apparently is on board with its principal zoo slaughtering a giraffe and then feeding it to lions in front of children, and killing off a few baby lions, but thinks kosher slaughter is inhumane, and that “animal rights come before religion.” The “intactivist” movement is trying to bancircumcision, claiming it is a form of child abuse. Several European communities are on board, including a few in Germany.

Some analysts believe the assault on Jewish ritual practices, including kosher slaughter and circumcision, are in reality aimed at making Europe less friendly to Muslims, who share some of these practices, than one more blast aimed at the shrinking, pretty much negligible Jewish population in most European countries. Muslims already make up 5 percent or more of the population of some European countries (France, Netherlands, Austria, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, the U.K., Sweden, Macedonia, Bosnia, Albania, Kosovo), and will soon in several more. Jews are but 0.2 percent of Europe’s population, with numbers barely a 10th of the pre-World War II level.

The multicultural commitment of the Left in Europe makes frontal assaults on Islamic practices suspect, so animal rights, and rights of infants, are trotted out as protective cover for the attempt to make these countries less protective of religious rituals.


Democrats are going to face some really hard choices in 2016. Burnishing the image of a mediocre Secretary of State, despite the efforts of the highly mediocre Senator Clare McCaskill, Senator from Missouri, can’t be easy. When it becomes difficult to airbrush the lies, deceptions, and violations of election law, they think Bill Clinton with his charm will ride to her rescue. Well, here is what hubby dearest had to say on Iran in 2005. It’s on the record. And, incidentally Lyndon LaRouche loved it and called his statement “useful truths.”

“Clinton: … Iran’s a whole different kettle of fish—but it’s a sad story that really began in the 1950s when the United States deposed Mr. Mossadegh, who was an elected parliamentary democrat, and brought the Shah back in—[comments in background—Rose says “CIA”] and then he was overturned by the Ayatollah Khomeini, driving us into the arms of one Saddam Hussein. Most of the terrible things Saddam Hussein did in the 1980s he did with the full, knowing support of the United States government, because he was in Iran, and Iran was what it was because we got rid of the parliamentary democracy back in the ’50s; at least, that is my belief.

I know it is not popular for an American ever to say anything like this, but I think it’s true [applause], and I apologized when President Khatami was elected. I publicly acknowledged that the United States had actively overthrown Mossadegh and I apologized for it, and I hope that we could have some rapprochement with Iran. I think basically the Europeans’ initiative to Iran to try to figure out a way to defuse the nuclear crisis is a good one.

I think President Bush has done, so far, the right thing by not taking the military option off the table, but not pushing it too much. I didn’t like the story that looked like the military option had been elevated above a diplomatic option. But Iran is the most perplexing problem … we face, for the following reasons: It is the only country in the world with two governments, and the only country in the world that has now had six elections since the first election of President Khatami. [It is] the only one with elections, including the United States, including Israel, including you name it, where the liberals, or the progressives, have won two-thirds to 70 percent of the vote in six elections: two for President; two for the parliament, the Majlis; two for the mayoralities.

In every single election, the guys I identify with got two-thirds to 70% of the vote. There is no other country in the world I can say that about, certainly not my own.”


The Post-Achievement Politics of Obama and Hillary

Occasionally someone pranks an unwitting MSNBC panelist or a bunch of teenagers by asking them to name a single Hillary accomplishment. Even though Hillary has piled up more awards than Charles de Gaulle, nothing comes to mind. An editorial in the Chicago Tribune has the writer asking a group of Chicago leaders the same question about Obama’s foreign policy.

Silence follows.

Obama and Hillary don’t just suffer from a shortage of accomplishments. They’re also burdened with a surplus of failures. Benghazi worries so many Hillary supporters because there is nothing to balance it against. There is no, “But look at all the good she did.” Hillary didn’t do any good. She didn’t do much of anything except tour countries and pose for photos.

As a Secretary of State she made a perfectly adequate First Lady.

Obama talks the teleprompter talk, but when you look at the results they’re universally awful. Whether it’s the things that he only pretends to care about, like the VA, or the things he does care about, like Obamacare, after the splashy ribbon cutting ceremony comes the disastrous mess.

Like every other summer blockbuster, it’s great marketing for a terrible product. And just like the summer blockbuster, Obama’s actual policies are treated as disposables to be forgotten about. Scandal management consists of Obama making a serious face and promising to take this serious problem very seriously before heading out for a round of serious golfing.

Benghazi, Fast and Furious, the VA; he is just as angry about it as you are. All he’s really doing though is matching your emotional tone to dampen your response. It’s something that everyone from call center operators to customer support executives dealing with angry clients are taught to do. It means as little from Obama as it does from Kathy in Des Moines saying, “I understand you’re angry.”

The bad product stays bad and the customer feels as if someone is listening to him. It’s not failure. It’s liberalism.

So don’t cry for Hillary and don’t write off Obama. Achievement of the old kind is very overrated. It’s not about how high your GPA is but how many politically correct extracurriculars you have. In politics, just like in college, diversity and style increasingly count for more than achievement.

Post-American politics are also post-achievement politics. The morality of progressivism is more important than the substance of progress.


I keep wondering what it must have been like to be a young student at West Point listening to their Commander in Chief’s platitudes and ignorance wash over them. West Point is where our nation’s future leaders in war receive an education in how to protect the nation by crushing our enemies, if Presidents and Congress will let them.

Unfortunately for them, this President seems to think that climate change is the nation’s biggest enemy and that a loose coalition of Islamic fanatics is the other. There was no talk of an increasingly aggressive China, a Russia that seized Crimea and would like a chunk of the Ukraine, or an Iran that got out from under some strong financial sanctions and will continue to build its own nuclear weapons no matter what Obama and other negotiators may want.

Meanwhile, the Egyptians have decided they would prefer a military dictator again as their president instead of a leader from the Muslim Brotherhood. Such choices are endemic to the Middle East. Real democracy is rare there. In Syria its dictator, Bashar al Assad, is still in power when, it could be argued, a few hours spent bombing his air force and other military facilities might have cost him his job and saved over 160,000 lives. So now Obama is reluctantly arming his opposition, some of whom could end up being as oppressive as al Assad.

The highlight of Obama’s speech was his announcement that the U.S. would be out of Afghanistan by 2016 except for a small force to train its military. Here’s what I had to say about Afghanistan in November 2009, a few months into Obama’s first term:

“If you look back, you discover that the former Soviet Union had 100,000 troops there and spent ten years in Afghanistan…one day in 1989 they just packed up and went home to Russia. Shortly thereafter the Berlin Wall fell, followed by the entire Soviet government in 1991.” And Afghanistan was deemed by Obama to be a “war of necessity.” Americans in 2009 would have been happy to depart, having been there for eight years with nothing to show for it.

Presidents who do not get the waging of war right end up killing a lot of American troops. Lyndon Johnson knew years earlier that he should have gotten out of Vietnam, but stayed on. And, yes, George W. Bush stayed on in Afghanistan and Iraq after achieving the initial goal of responding to 9/11 and then of getting rid of Saddam Hussein. War is not about nation-building.


Jim Geraghty’s laugh-to-keep-from-crying send-up of the federal bureaucracy.
Soaring levels of government waste, fraud, and abuse leave many of us wondering whether we live in an alternate reality. We shake our heads in despair and wonder when the absurdity will stop. Jim Geraghty goes one step further and, in his just-released “mock history” — The Weed Agency: A Comic Tale of Federal Bureaucracy Without Limits — embraces the madness for madcap effect. He sat down to discuss the book — is it fact or fiction? — with National Review Online’s Kathryn Jean Lopez.

Kathryn Jean Lopez: Admit it: You’re hoping the state of Colorado jumps to conclusions and makes your book a bestseller based on the title.

Jim Geraghty: If confused stoners drive The Weed Agency to the bestseller list, I won’t complain. I should probably start claiming that the book was printed on rolling paper. They’re probably the demographic most likely to forget to return it and ask for a refund.

Lopez: You write, “Everyone who comes to Washington intending to cut the government comes with some other goal as well — defense, abortion, schools, whatever. And everyone who likes the government the way it is has gotten very, very skilled at figuring out how to get us to focus on the other stuff.” Is it really all that bad?

Geraghty: I’m not sure if it’s bad so much as it’s reality. Sometimes that other stuff is really important — Ronald Reagan came to Washington aiming to win the Cold War as well as reduce the cost and size of government; 9/11 obviously completely overwrote the original agenda of George W. Bush’s presidency. As presidencies and congressional careers progress, some priorities inevitably squeeze out other priorities. Cutting spending has one of the worst effort-to-reward ratios in governing. You don’t get to name federal facilities after yourself, you don’t get ribbon-cutting ceremonies and boasts of jobs created. You don’t get to brag in campaign ads that you created a program to solve some problem. You don’t create a constituency that wants to see that spending continue and get you reelected in order to ensure that that spending continues. You put yourself at risk of attack ads declaring you cut something that’s popular and beloved. So the natural incentive for lawmakers, even conservative ones, is to focus on other issues and topics where there is better return on the investment of time and effort.

Five Top Brass : In Springing Them from Gitmo, Obama Fortifies the Taliban and Violates U.S. Law. By Deroy Murdock

Is Obama capable of touching anything without converting it into fertilizer?

Hot on the heels of the White House’s reckless outing of the CIA’s chief spy in Kabul — which itself was a mere station break in the ongoing VA medical-abuse scandal — Obama waded into the world of America’s sole POW in Afghanistan. Obama swapped Army sergeant Bowe Bergdahl for five Guantanamo detainees. Bergdahl is now undergoing medical examinations in Landstuhl, Germany, and these Taliban leaders have left tropical detention for new lives in Qatar. Not to worry: Qatar agreed to assure that they do not leave that Middle Eastern nation — for one year.

Ruining yet another weekend, and weakening America even further in the process, Obama managed to accomplish several new milestones with this one action.

First, America’s long-standing policy of never negotiating with terrorists is now fully ablaze. As strategic reversals go, this was a five-alarm fire.

Free-market economists like to say: Incentives matter. While kidnapping Americans previously bought terrorists nothing from the U.S. government, Obama’s message to the jihadists is: “Go ahead. Kidnap more Americans.” Terrorists now know that a wobbly-kneed America will negotiate with them.

“All praise is to Allah Almighty!” Taliban supreme leader Mullah Omar said in a statement Monday on its official website. “This huge and vivid triumph requires from all Mujahidin to offer thanks to the Benevolent Creator who accepted the sincere sacrifices of our Mujahid nation and managed the release of these five renowned Mujahidin from the enemy’s clutch.” Omar added: “May Allah Almighty get, just like these five heads, all those oppressed prisoners released who are incarcerated in the path of liberating their country and serving their creed.”

Even worse, Obama fixed the jihadist–American foreign-exchange rate, not at one to one but at five to one. Islamofascist thugs now know that the price tag for an American’s safe return is at least five of their comrades.